Witnesses: Bryant, coach in heated argument

Updated: June 9, 2004, 8:16 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Antonio Bryant reportedly had an altercation with coach Bill Parcells during practice Tuesday and was ejected by club security.

Witnesses who spoke on condition of anonymity told the The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram for Wednesday's editions that the confrontation began when Bryant complained about his role as the team's third receiver and the number of repetitions he was getting during a drill.

Bryant got into separate arguments with receivers coach Todd Haley and Keyshawn Johnson. When Parcells told Bryant to stop, the third-year player took off his pads and jersey, slammed them to the ground and began to leave the practice field.

Sources told the Star-Telegram that Parcells picked up the jersey and threw it back at Bryant, who then threw it in the face of the approaching coach.

Bryant was then escorted out of practice by security personnel.

ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Bryant's agent, Peter Schaffer, spoke with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones both Tuesday night and Wednesday and that the agent says things have been worked out between the team and Bryant.

Schaffer added that Bryant will not be traded and that any disciplinary action would be handled internally.

Although Schaffer told Werder that he expected Bryant to attend Wednesday's voluntary field session, the receiver wasn't there and Bryant is not expected to participate in the remainder of the workouts, which are closed to the media, Werder reported.

Cowboys sources told ESPN that Parcells wants to remove the emotion from his confrontation with Bryant before determining what consequences to impose on the mercurial player.

Bryant and Parcells have a history of confrontations, according to Werder. In an interview during the offseason, the player conceded that he and the coach sometimes clashed and that Parcells once told him, "I've got one good fight left in me, don't let it be with you.''

Parcells has demonstrated little tolerance for underachievers, Werder reports, particularly those who challenge his authority as Bryant did in front of the entire team.

Although Bryant has often complained about his role in Dallas and had other practice-field and sideline blowups, he was expected to be a key member of the Cowboys' receiving corps.

Taken in the second round of the 2002 draft, Bryant earned all-rookie honors in 2002 after catching 44 passes for 733 yards and six touchdowns. Bryant caught 39 passes for 550 yards and two touchdowns last year as the third receiver behind Joey Galloway and Terry Glenn.

This year, Bryant is set to be the third receiver behind Glenn and Johnson, who was acquired from Tampa Bay in a trade for Galloway.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.